Looking young for your age: Perceptions of anti-aging actions
Article first published online: 4 FEB 2010
Copyright © 2010 John Wiley & Sons, Ltd.
European Journal of Social Psychology
Volume 41, Issue 1, pages 86–95, February 2011
How to Cite
Schoemann, A. M. and Branscombe, N. R. (2011), Looking young for your age: Perceptions of anti-aging actions. Eur. J. Soc. Psychol., 41: 86–95. doi: 10.1002/ejsp.738
- Issue published online: 4 FEB 2010
- Article first published online: 4 FEB 2010
- Manuscript Accepted: 13 DEC 2009
- Manuscript Received: 5 APR 2009
Despite the potential benefits of looking young, we predicted that older adults who attempt to look younger than they are would threaten the distinctiveness of young adults' social identity and, for this reason, such “passers” would be evaluated negatively. In three experiments we found that both male and female young adults negatively evaluated older adults who attempt to look younger compared to older adults who do not attempt to do so. Both male and female targets who attempt to look younger were evaluated negatively (Experiment 2), and these negative evaluations were a function of experienced threat to young adults' social identities (Experiment 3). Older adults may attempt to look young to avoid age-based prejudice or conform to existing standards, but doing so can result in negative evaluations by younger people. Copyright © 2010 John Wiley & Sons, Ltd.